Ask the Experts: Focus on Special Education Oversight

The 2012 edition of NACSA’s  Principles & Standards for Quality Charter School Authorizing provides authorizers with new guidance related to the oversight of special education. Specifically, it says quality authorizers:

  • Enlists expertise and competent leadership for all areas essential to charter school oversight-including, but not limited to, education leadership; curriculum, instruction, and assessment; special education, English learners, and other diverse learning needs; performance management and accountability; law; finance; facilities; and nonprofit governance and management-through staff, contractual relationships, and/or intra- or inter-agency collaborations.
  • Execute contracts that include clear, measurable performance standards to judge the effectiveness of alternative schools, if applicable- requiring and appropriately weighting rigorous mission-specific performance measures and metrics that credibly demonstrate each school’s success in fulfilling its mission and serving its special population.
  • Ensures that schools admit students through a random selection process that is open to all students, is publicly verifiable, and does not establish undue barriers to application (such as mandatory information meetings, mandated volunteer service, or parent contracts) that exclude students based on socioeconomic, family, or language background, prior academic performance, special education status, or parental involvement.
  • Ensures that schools provide access to and appropriately serve other special populations of students, including English learners, homeless students, and gifted students, as required by federal and state law.

In the next few weeks, NACSA members will receive a copy of the new Principles & Standards in the mail. Can’t wait? Download an electronic copy today!

Looking for additional resources on serving special education students? Download the PowerPoint presentation from “Developing Strong Authorization, Operational Oversight, and Renewal Practices Related to Delivering High Quality Special Education Services,” a breakout session presented at the 2012 NACSA Leadership Conference.